Gold Coast forward Jarrod Wallace has revealed how his father has been the inspiration for his NRL career.
Wallace broke into the NRL with Brisbane in 2012. Two years ago the prop, a veteran of 98 first-grade games, joined the Titans.
In 2017 he made his State of Origin debut for Queensland.
Wallace has opened about how his father, a country rugby league star, has influenced his playing style.
"Given what I do for a living, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that he was a bloody good footballer," the 26-year-old told Player's Voice.
"He ran hard, hit hard and played hard all the time. If a tougher player has ever taken the field, I have yet to meet him. I don’t know exactly how many games he played, but it would have been more than 300, maybe even 400.
"He was captain-coach for a lot of that time. There are a couple of generations of players out there who learned the game – the strategies, the discipline, the passion – from him."To this day, I look for him in the stands when I play. No one knows my game better than my old man. We use these little hand signals to communicate with each other.
"We’ve got a signal for everything. He’ll tell me if I’m playing well, or if there’s more I need to be doing. It’s reassuring to know he’s there. I also speak to him before every game. It’s not so much the words he says that give me comfort, but the fact it is him saying them.
"Being the son of a bush footy icon wasn’t always easy. We played for the Sawtell Panthers for a few seasons [together] after I turned 16. Dad wasn’t one to get all sentimental about playing alongside his son, either.
"Those seasons of tough, hard bush footy made me into the player I am today. It prepared me for what was to come in the NRL. I will always be grateful for the experience."